From cattle to coffee: transformation in rural Machakos
This study investigated rural livelihood systems and the response of local communities to changing resource conditions in two communities in Machakos District, a semi-arid region in Kenya. A section on methodolgoy outlines the methods used during the research, which included PRA techniques as well as more conventional approaches. Among the PRA techniques used were spatial methods such as village transects or mapping, methods focused on time-related data such as time-lines or seasonal calendars, and those focusing on social data such as household interviews and group meetings to discuss village institutions. Several of the techniques were easily modified for gathering gender-differentiated data. It was found that there had been a significant and rapid change in the lives of people living in the region as the livelihood base shifted from cattle rearing to coffee growing. The changes have had particularly adverse impact on the lives of women, particularly poor women, in the area.